Summary: There will be many times in our Christian walk when we head into a Valley - what is a valley, why is it there and how do we cope with it?
The Valleys of Life – 8th February 2009 am
The story of Job: the worst-case scenario found in the Bible concerning trials in the Christian life. If I could sum up the book of Job in a few words it would be, “If it could go wrong it would!!!”However, in the life of Job we can find both comfort and help concerning the trials that we endure in this life.
Job was a godly man according to verse 1 of chapter 1. He lost all of his possessions, he lost all of his children, he suffered with his health, had no support from his wife who wanted him to just curse God and die. Job didn’t even have any comfort from those who were supposed to be his friends.
Job was in a valley that just got deeper and deeper.
I want to spend the next few weeks dealing with the “Valleys of Life.” But, before we get into the valleys of life, we need to understand something; bad things do happen to good people. Troubles are not necessarily a sign of divine displeasure, but rather something allowed by God for our good and His glory.
Job was a godly man with more problems than the wicked around him.
David was a man after God’s own heart and he had problems – (David means “beloved.”)
Paul loved the Lord and served Him as diligently as any man and look what he went though.
Valleys of life have both negative and positive aspects.
1. The Negative Aspects Of The Valleys Of Life.
a. Valleys are valleys, no matter what sort they are - Job 1:20
There is a song that says “we are not in the valley, but just changing mountaintops.” If I wanted to go from Llanwyno to Penrhys, how would I get there? I’d still have to go down into the Rhondda Fach valley….
Here’s the thing - when you are in the valley, it is a valley!
The hosts of heaven and hell watched to see how Job would respond to the loss of his wealth and his children. He expressed his grief in a manner normal for that day.. There is nothing wrong with expressing grief – but look at what Job did next – he worshipped God.
Everything Job owned was given to him by God, and the same God who gave it to him had the right to take it away. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Look at Job 1:21 Instead of cursing God, as Satan said Job would, Job blessed the Lord! Anyone can say “the Lord gave,” or “the Lord hath taken away” but it takes real faith to say in the midst of a valley of sorrow and suffering. “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
b. Some Valleys are deeper than others – Job 1:16-17
In one day, job was stripped of his wealth. One after another, 4 frightened messengers reported that 500 oxen, 500 donkey and 3,000 camels were stolen; 7,000 sheep were killed by fire from heaven, and his 10 children were killed by a great wind.
Job knew what had happened but he didn’t know why they had happened. It’s only because the Scripture gives us a glimpse into the throne room of heaven that we see why Satan was allowed to cause all of this destruction in Job’s life. Had we not had this insight we may have had the same approach as his friends and blamed Job.
The problems we will face in this life will range from the not so bad to valleys of deepest sorrow and trials. We will know what has happened but not know why it has happened – all we can do is trust the Lord…
c. Some Valleys are longer than others – Job 2:13
The term “Job’s Comforters” is a popular phrase for describing people whose help only makes you feel worse. But Job’s three friends do have some good points in spite of the way they ended up adding to Jobs’ afflictions.
For one thing they cared enough for their friend to travel the great distance to be with him, and when they did arrive they actually sat down in the ashes with Job. Their grief for their friend was so great that they couldn’t speak for 7 days.
They soon made up for that though, Seven days of silence and then 42 chapters of badgering.
Each valley we come to will be different some long, some short. We will face problems that will only last for a short period of time. Then there will be problems that never seem to end…
The best way we can help someone in a valley who is hurting is to just be there for them. We don’t have to say anything (that can often make things worse) just let them know that you care.